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Two tornadoes touched down in Massachusetts Tuesday morning, weather service says

Communities hit by torrential rain as powerful storm barrels through Massachusetts
A powerful storm brought torrential rain to many parts of the state Tuesday, generating at least one tornado, flash flooding, and severe thunderstorms.

The towns of Mattapoisett and Barnstable were hit by tornadoes Tuesday, causing extensive damage as severe storms swept across much of Massachusetts.

The National Weather Service said a team confirmed a tornado struck Mattapoisett around 11:20 a.m. Almost a half hour later, a second tornado touched down in Barnstable, near the village of Marstons Mills, the weather service announced.

The weather service rated the Mattapoisett twister as a “small” EF-1 tornado, which was on the ground for about three minutes, according to a NWS report. The length of the tornado’s path was approximately 0.9 miles, and it covered a width of about 300 yards, the report said.

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Many pine and maple trees were uprooted, and some pine trees were snapped off between 10 and 20 feet above the ground, the weather service said.

Michael C. Lorenco, Mattapoisett’s town administrator, toured the affected area and said the damage was considerable, with trees and power lines knocked over.

“We have no reported injuries that we know about at this time, but obviously, there are people at work right now,” he said.

Officials asked residents to avoid the damaged areas and set up travel detours, he said. The town’s water treatment plant “is believed to have sustained damage,” officials said.

“It is still operational, but damage is still being assessed,” officials said.

The Barnstable tornado was rated as a “small” EF-0, and was on the ground for approximately four minutes, according to a NWS report. The tornado’s path was approximately 1.1 miles long and 650 yards wide, the report said.

“Witnesses described a chaotic event, observing airborne fence posts and branches,” the report said.

The damage also included a downed electrical pole and an uprooted hardwood tree, it said.

“There was some damage in Marstons Mills,” Jeff Gifford, dispatcher for the Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Fire Department, said in a phone interview Tuesday evening. “There were some trees down and some wires down.”

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The Barnstable Police Department could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Earlier in the day, a tornado warning was issued for a several central Massachusetts towns until 9:30 a.m. The warning initially included Northborough, Oxford, and Westborough and was later extended to Upton.

The powerful storm system dumped heavy rain that caused flash flooding throughout the region, and a flood watch remains in effect through the evening for portions of central and eastern Massachusetts. A flash flood warning had been issued earlier Tuesday for Boston and parts of Norfolk, Middlesex, Essex and Worcester counties.

Storm damage caused delays and cancellations on the public transit system, from the Green Line to the Haverhill and Rockport commuter rail lines. Flooding closed the westbound lane of Route 9 in Wellesley for about a half-hour before it reopened around 11:45 a.m.

The weather service also reported flooding in Framingham, Hudson, Grafton, Hopkinton, Wilmington and Marlborough.

Social media was filled with reports of flooded roads, stranding some drivers.


Amanda Kaufman can be reached at amanda.kaufman@globe.com. Follow her @amandakauf1. John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him @JREbosglobe. Bailey Allen can be reached at bailey.allen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @baileyaallen.